Curiosity Killed The Monolingual

The “not so intelligent” questions never stop with us bilinguals. One thing I’ve noticed though is that besides the “why are you white” and “do lions roam the street” questions I constantly get because of my South African background (read more in a previous post) , there are certain universal questions that ALL bilinguals seem to get asked.  Continue reading “Curiosity Killed The Monolingual”

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Bilinguals: Lost In Translation

The phrase “lost in translation” could not be more relevant to us bilinguals. I don’t know when it started or whether it became famous because of that movie with Scarlett Johansson, but what I do know is this: It describes the bilingual struggle. There are certain (well, many) situations where we find ourselves completely lost in translation.  Continue reading “Bilinguals: Lost In Translation”

“Why Are You White”?

I don’t know about you, but being from South Africa can have its moments sometimes. When people learn that I’m bilingual, specifically when they hear the words “South Africa”, it invites certain-lets just say not that intelligent-questions.

If you’re from a country that has a certain image to outsiders, you’ll know exactly what I mean. The bilingual struggle is real here people. If not, let me share this ridiculous struggle with you and how I’ve learned to deal with it when I constantly feel like banging my head against a wall.  Continue reading ““Why Are You White”?”

Bilingual Benefits (The Time Has Come)

Yes, the time has come for a different post. The time has come to stop complaining for a minute and talk about the benefits of being bilingual. I don’t want you to think it’s all a struggle, because in fact this jumble of two languages in our head can be a huge advantage as well. I promised I would give you some benefits and here they are, so stop what you’re doing, sit back and enjoy how cool this “power” can make us.  Continue reading “Bilingual Benefits (The Time Has Come)”

Two Personalities. One Bilingual.

Have you ever noticed that every language brings out a different side of you? Especially if you’re bilingual which seems to take this to another level. Speaking two languages fluently apparently has made me develop two different personalities.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that on the one hand I am a depressed insomniac looking desperately for the meaning of life, and on the other, a devil-may-care sexy and violent “animal”. What does it mean then?  Continue reading “Two Personalities. One Bilingual.”

Two Homes. One Bilingual.

A lot of people are used to the concept of home. Their family, childhood memories and sense of belonging all come within a specific territory and wherever else they may go, it never compares to that warm feeling of home.

Not certain bilinguals though. What happens when you have two homes? What happens when you feel partly at home in one country-partly at home at another and never feel like you fully belong in either?

Continue reading “Two Homes. One Bilingual.”

What’s That Word Again?

One of the most common struggles of being bilingual is trying to find a specific word in the other language. It’s in your head, you know you know it and it’s driving you crazy!

This was a constant struggle. Don’t even get me started on papers or tests in school. That’s when the pressure is on and you’re just sitting there staring at the ceiling and feeling like an idiot. Am I an idiot or am I just bilingual? Continue reading “What’s That Word Again?”

Bilingual: Caught Between Two Worlds

The word “bilingual” -surprise surprise- means two languages, two mother-tongues and two worlds that you find yourself struggling between.

You see the guy in the picture right above you smiling with no care in the world while two languages are coming out of him simultaneously? I can guarantee you-as a person who’s everyday life, speech and mind consists of exactly that-it may not be as simple and carefree as it seems.  Continue reading “Bilingual: Caught Between Two Worlds”